The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya his disclosed that current security challenges and threats confronting the country calls dialogue and cooperation between government and non-governmental actors to address noting that such partnership has become very key in preventing and countering violence and terrorism.
“As an armed force, we need to see the broader public, local communities and the private sector as partners and stakeholders in our collective effort at countering the threats around us. They must no longer be viewed as passive but active objects of law enforcement activities. This is the importance of the whole of society approach to national security” he said.
Speaking at the opening of the Inter-Agency Seminar for Course 6/2022 participants of the Army War College Nigeria, the COAS who was represented by the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major General Markus Kangye said, “The civil society are a very important stakeholder in this regard as it helps to create the space for constructive engagement between the State and its citizens, fostering trust and understanding as they both take ownership of the strategies put in place to counter this collective threat.
“The partnerships between these stakeholders will help to eliminate mistrust, conceptual misunderstandings, and differences in understanding of national security issues. Indeed, the time for the full involvement of civil society in efforts to counter our internal security challenges is overdue.
To the participants, Gen Yahaya said, “As a citadel of learning and highest Professional Military Education institution in the NA, the AWCN has done so much work by evolving robust training objectives that speaks to contemporary security challenges.
“Indeed, these objectives are cognizant of the requirements of essential knowledge, skills and aptitudes for fifth generation warfare officers, who are prepared to take up operational level leadership in the security forces in Nigeria and in our region are currently operating confronting volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment requiring operational leadership which understands the changing dynamics which they operate.
“The society is currently being faced with extremism and radicalization that has led to terrorism, violent, militancy, and other criminal tendencies in the nation.
“The operational measures undertaken to counter these criminalities in our country have been insufficient so far in tackling these threats and must be combined with additional efforts from other actors and stakeholders in order to fully contain them. For us to tackle the security challenges our nation is bedeviled with, the cooperation and coordination between ant government actors is required.
“It is in the understanding that no stakeholders or single actors by themselves could successfully counter the internal security challenges the country and that informed my vision on assuming office as the COAS. My vision for “A Professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in defence of Nigeria” was encapsulated recognizing the fact that the current violent, uncertain complex ambiguous as well as asymmetric environment required jointness of all stakeholders in addition to the military effort.
“It is common knowledge that our troops are deployed in all the 36 states of the Federation on internal security operations. Our troops are also deployed in joint operations in the North-East on Op Hadin Kai, in the North-West on Op Hadarin Daji in the South-South on Op Delta Safe amongst so many other operations nationwide to counter the threats to our national security.
“We have made tremendous strides in countering these internal security threats facing us as a nation. However, building upon the achievements of the NA and the armed Forces, the whole of civil society must be involved in the prevention and Countering of these challenges for any sustainable gains to be made.
“Accordingly, this seminar with the theme “Appraising the Roles of Civil Society Towards Engendering Effective Internal Security In Nigeria”, couldn’t have come at a better time. The choice of time and topic for the seminar is apt as recent developments have given effect to a nation have come to the on that our operations need to be intelligence-driven arising inputs of the whole of society in being security conscious and stakeholders in what should be a collective fight against the and violent, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment nation finds itself in now”.
In his welcome address, Commandant, Army War College, Nigeria, Major General BA Alabi said, “Indeed, the contemporary security environment has thrown up threats dimensions that are vague in character, hence requiring specialized skills that are multi-disciplinary to effectively confront and mitigate.
“In the light of this, successes in the new warfare paradigm requires joint efforts in a whole of society approach which entails seamless inter-agency cooperation and coordination that cuts across multiple agencies and stakeholders.
“Consequently, Module 3, which is on inter-agency cooperation and coordination, seeks to enhance participants’ competences to function effectively in a joint environment. This is squarely in line with the COAS vision of “A Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Missions within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”.
“The AWCN Course 6/2022 symbolizes this jointness in its composition, as out of 74 participants, 53 are from the NA, 2 each of the NN and NAF with one each from NPF, NCS, NIS, NSCDC, FRSC and the EFCC. Also on the course are 6 participants from allied friendly nations comprising of 2 officers from Rwanda and one each from The Gambia, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville as well as Cameroun.
“Against this backdrop, today’s seminar which is one of the highlights of the Inter-Agency Cooperation and Coordination Module for AWCN Course 6/2022 is aimed at consolidating the knowledge participants have acquired during series of lectures delivered to them in the last 2 weeks.
“It is noteworthy therefore, that the lectures were carefully designed to equip the participants with requisite knowledge and enablement to operate effectively with other governmental and non-governmental agencies. Accordingly, participants were taken through the fundamentals of civil-military affairs, strategic communication, legal perspectives to military operations amongst others; which are critical for military operations in the complex 21st century security environment.”
He emphasized that the theme of the seminar which is “Appraising the roles of Civil Society Towards Engendering Effective Internal Security in Nigeria” was carefully selected to stimulate conversations that would facilitate cross pollination of ideas that proffers modalities for whole of society approach in tackling the myriad of security challenges confronting our dear nation today.
“To this end, 2 lectures have been programmed for the seminar. The lectures are titled “Coordinating Civil Society towards Integrated Internal Security Operations in Nigeria” and “Evolving Strategies for Collaboration between the Civil Society, Security agencies and the Nigerian Army towards Internal Security Operations in Nigeria”.